Hopefully thanks to the power of social media, you’ll already be aware that this week is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week. A campaign dedicated to talking openly about mental illness during pregnancy or after having a baby, and this years ‘theme’ is Mums Matter. And we do!
How are you feeling?
I’m very aware of how lucky I’ve been on this front. From the moment I fell pregnant I’ve been waiting for some sort of alteration in my mental health and *touch wood* so far, it’s remained unchanged. With a past history of eating disorders and a determined to succeed nature, pregnancy weight gains and my inability to breast feed really could of taken their toll and thinking back, I don’t think I was too far away from it doing so. But 6 months in, I’m feeling stronger than ever.
But I know that this time, I’m one of the lucky ones, and I might not be so blessed in the future. And I also know how hard mental health issues can even effect those who on the outside look like the strongest, most fun loving, confident people in the room. Especially on the ‘perfect world’ of Instagram.
Which is why I’m so thankful to this campaign. If it helps even one person open up and talk about how they are feeling, it’s a move in the right direction.
A Mindful Mum
So, when Kate Silcock of Alice in Worryland announced her first Mindful Mums event, I knew I had to be there.
Alongside some NCT friends, we headed to the quaint Mouse in Brimstage on the Wirral, for an evening of fizz, laughs and open discussions about motherhood and our mental health. And we left feeling refreshed and empowered.
Kate made us all feel so welcome, almost like we were in her own home having a girlie chat, rather than in public with 30 other women I’d mostly never met before. She talked openly about her challenges whilst we all nodded, welled up or laughed alongside her, finding so much similarity in each other’s experiences. (When she mentioned she was also a bottle feeding mum of a tongue tied babe who needed anti-colic bottles, I think I nearly ran up and hugged her…. someone else ‘got’ it)
Time for ME
Alongside sharing her experiences, Kate also arranged time for us to discuss what brought us to the event and our thoughts and feelings on motherhood, in small groups over a glass or two of fizz and nibbles. It made what can be an intimidating meeting into a warm, friendly affair and I met some truly lovely girls.
You can’t pour from an empty cup, and life coach and the evenings speaker, Shazney Spence couldn’t agree more. We need to be kind to ourselves and invest some time to just us. Agreed!
It was funny to think back to doing something that wasn’t work or baby related, and made me really appreciate the spa day I took back in February. So I’ve listened and booked some treatments at LilSpa today whilst Ace is in nursery. BLISSSSS.
Once the night was over we headed home with our gorgeous goody bags to crack open the tins of gin we were gifted, whilst reading the positive affirmation card within.
And in my case, to think about what a truly lovely night I’d had.
Kate’s planning more events in the future, so make sure you follow her on Instagram to be in the know for the next one.
I’ll see you there.